Phonebooths and Mailboxes
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Phonebooths and Mailboxes

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Why put pen to paper when you can text? Who needs a booth when your...

Why put pen to paper when you can text? Who needs a booth when your
phone is in your pocket? And why drive into the office when you can email?
Technology allows one to be connected to colleagues without ever
seeing them—or does it?

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Phonebooths and Mailboxes Phonebooths and Mailboxes Presentation Transcript

  • introduction the path to a paradigm shift
  • “t e c h n o l o g y proposes itself as the architect this afternoon to tie my son’s skates for a hockey tryout—the most impor-of our i n t i m a c i e s .” tant thing in the world to a nine-year-old boy. Thanks to technology, Is h e r r y t u r k l e , a l o n e t o g e t h e r could be part of a conference call on my way to the tryout and approve a time-sensitive document. I had the freedom to fulfill my duties as an em-A decade of technological change has fundamentally altered the way we ployee and a parent. In this case, my smartphone and laptop are a boon.experience and conduct our lives. In fact, one can hardly discuss busi-ness, politics or movies without also talking about the Internet, intranets, Yet, those same tools can derail my plans for some off-duty downtime,social networking or cloud computing. And tools like smartphones have eroding my sense of privacy. I admit to being “connected” most of thebecome our constant companions. I just downloaded an app that shows time and ready to be engaged outside of traditional office hours. In this,me where to find an open parking space at the mall and oh, the time it I am not alone.has saved. Since the moment you sat down to read this paper, has your mobile de-Without doubt, this is an interesting moment in the history of human vice alerted you to an incoming e-mail, text or Twitter message? Did youaffairs; a moment when technology promises to make life easier and allow check the message or continue to read? The wizardry of new gadgets isus to connect with people we might not otherwise. For business, tech- stimulating and most of us are familiar with the impulse to check ournology offers the potential for greater productivity and creativity and for phones every five minutes. Such frequent checking may be the result ofthose of us who work, it can free us from the constraints of time clocks a desire to connect—or the compelling nature of our incredibly capableand cubicles. technology.The promise of technology is great and the topic vital enough to inspire Various research reports indicate that smartphone users check theiran onslaught of books, blogs and its own section in the newspaper along phones frequently at work and during personal downtime—with manywith such stalwarts as World News, Sports, Arts and Business. Technol- people checking their phone as often as every 10 or 15 minutes. Just asogy inspires lively dialog and debate, suggesting it is easier to use than it many keep their smartphones within arm’s reach during sleep and evenis to understand its social, economic and environmental consequences. A wake to see if texts or e-mails have arrived.decade ago, few could predict how thoroughgoing our embrace of tech-nology would be.By the way, the telephone was invented in 1876 and the first mobile cel-lular phone in 1981 (105 years later). The iPhone made its debut in 2007(26 years after the cellphone), but already there have been five subsequentiterations and 350,000 apps, plus the birth of the iPhone’s sibling, theiPad in 2010. That’s how fast things change now.Always Connected, Always “On”Consider this: it’s 10:30 at night and I’m still “at work” in my home of-fice doing research for this paper. However, I was able to leave work early
  • Certainly the desire to communicateand “connect” seems to be hardwiredinto what we call human nature. Crafting signs, symbols and stories has been part of human activity in every culture. Of course, the means of communication have radically changed and no doubt will continue to evolve as they have from Paleo-0.8 lithic cave paintings to hand lettering on parchment to Gutenberg’s in- vention of the printing press to the laser printer; or from oral traditions and drummed messages to the invention of the radio, telephone and my iPhone 4. The recent explosion in technology—and more specifically, mobile com- munication devices—has changed not only the opportunity for commu- nication, but the scale, pace and pattern of communication. Never in history have people been able to contact almost anyone anywhere at any time. Equally, access to data is unprecedented. Today, one can delve into the archives of The New York Times or The Guardian via computer, contact researchers around the world and pull from online libraries and databases. We’ve gained extraordinary new power to connect and communicate with people around the world 24/7. We can retrieve and deliver information in less than 140 characters. Our devices have become extensions of our lives and our personalities. But have we lost something in the transfor- mation to a hyper-connected world?
  • 0.11The Mutiny brian ’ s mailbox decided it would not slip into obsoles - cence without a fight .
  • La n d s ca p e s T r a n s f o r m e dThe working subtitle of this paper is "Phone-booths and Mailboxes,” chosen because bothwere once a common element in the urban land-scape. Both are now becoming obsolete or re-dundant due to the ubiquity of mobile phonesand e-mail—superseded by new technology. I’vealways liked the bright red British telephonebooth and the image of American college kidsstuffing themselves into a booth as a prank. Andonce upon a time, people wrote lengthy lettersand each day’s post was an event of some impor-tance. Happily, the iconic British phonebooth—as much a symbol of Britain as fish and chips—isnow finding new life as a charging station or con-nectivity booth or even a village “library kiosk.” 0.15 In general, however, both the phonebooth and the mailbox represent a landscape and way of life now transformed by technology.
  • With the advent of “always on” gad- gets, however, we can connect at any time with people anywhere, which has far-reaching implications for the way people work and the way com-0.16 panies do business. How will people work tomorrow and the day after? [1]Why put pen to paper when you can text? Who needs a booth when yourphone is in your pocket? And why drive into the office when you can e-mail? Technology allows one to be connected to colleagues without everseeing them—or does it?D i s c o v e r i n g a N e w W o r k f o r c e Pa r a d i g mOur purpose here is to ask and potentially answer some questionsabout the communications technology that is so intimately wo-ven into our lives—and its consequences for our life at work. At onetime, most interactions were with people in the same building and ex-changes took place synchronously either face-to-face or via telephone.
  • Is the office where we do our best thinking? Perhaps you have asked, “When and where did my last great idea come to me—in the office, on a run or just after midnight while work- ing at home? I rarely hear, "It came to me in a meeting." But I often hear, "I couldnt wait to get back to the office to share it.” Light bulb moments may not happen in the office, but perhaps that’s where they come to life. My last “big idea” came to me on a plane and that seems to happen more often than not. On a long flight, I enjoy hours of uninterrupted solitude. I receive no phone calls, e-mails or drop- by visitors (except those bringing food and drink, who are welcome). It is a great place to think and reflect. Recently however, I boarded an Air Can- ada flight and to my horror saw an emblem on0.18 the outside of the plane that read. "Now Wi-Fi- enabled." Just as we spend less time “unplugged,” we may be running out of places to think.The question inevitably arises, if we canconnect anywhere, anytime, is the office thebest place to work?
  • nomads people in motion
  • As the shift from the Industrial Age to the Digi-tal Age continues, work continues to evolve, as doesthe workplace, becoming ever more fluid and com-prised of multiple formats animated by a variety ofactivities. The emerging office landscape reflects themobility of people no longer tied to their desks andPCs; a workforce armed with devices that are chang-ing how, when, where and with whom we work.1.22 1.23 Mobility may be one of the most significant changes technology has wrought.
  • 7.25Orbit jessica decided to upgrade the diameter of her personal space workstation .
  • Today, work has become location-free and the workplace itself has be-come, to a greater or lesser extent, barrier-free as people have access toone another up and down and across the organization. And, as physicaland temporal barriers to work have given way, so have the traditionalhierarchical boundaries within organizations.For those of us who have been working in the corporate environment fora while, there has been a noticeable shift from structure and the verticalcoordination of skills to a “horizontal” process of collaboration by andthrough networks of continually evolving teams. And from formal sched-uled meetings to facilitating collaboration wherever it may occur—withinthe office or among mobile or globally dispersed team members. Untethered: Wa y s o f B e i n g M o b i l e No single term describes the ways that today’s corporate nomads move fluidly within the office environment or between the established office and other work sites. Generally, “mobile work” is the ability of individu- als enabled by technology to work freely within and outside the office. It1.28 may refer to those who are mobile outside a central place of work, com- municating primarily by phone or laptop. On the other hand, mobile work also describes people who are present in the office, but who are free to choose the workspace that will best accomplish the task at hand. Teleworkers or distance workers refers to employees who enjoy flexibility in work location and hours, working from home or another site for at least some part of the week. “Distributed work” is a term used to rep- resent a workforce that is disbursed geographically over a wide area. A distributed workforce usually consists of virtual teams who work across time, space and organizational boundaries linked by webs of communica- tion technologies. Each individual may be more or less mobile. For the purposes of this paper, I will generally use the terms mobility and mobile work(ers), as I believe these best describe the shift in work practices—the use of technology to support work anywhere, at any time; company policies that allow for flexibility in work hours and locations; and also, high levels of ad hoc collaboration achieved both through face- to-face and virtual interaction.
  • Up ahead: What road are we traveling?Given the technology available, it seemslogical to pose the question: is the of-fice itself on the way to becoming asredundant as a phonebooth or mailbox?
  • My argument is1.32 no. “ ” 1.33 Although people are working outside the office more often and for longer pe- riods, the physical office space still performs important functions—and even young workers who are able to leverage the latest technologies with ease, re- main eager to work with others face-to-face or elbow-to-elbow when provided with an attractive setting. In fact, as has been noted by other writers, Mil- lennials are a tribal generation who learned to study in groups and for whom socializing is an important, even essential, part of work. The office will sur- vive, albeit in different forms and for different reasons than in the past. However, prior to exploring the emerging landscape of the office, I want to take a closer look at the phenomenon of mobility itself—its potential to change the way we work and to enhance not only our individual daily experience of work, but also more broadly, the promise of enhanced creativity. Can mobility move us towards key goals of sustainable development and greater innovation?
  • e-work change is now
  • “work i s w h a t y o u d o , n o t w h e r e y o u d o i t . ” [2] Independent research from entities as diverse as the Bureau of Labor Sta- tistics, Cisco and IDC, a “market intelligence firm,” also indicates thatPerhaps until recently, most of us —or at least, myself—assumed that mobility is no longer the exception to the rule. The IDC Mobile Workermobile workers were to be found primarily at entrepreneurial high-tech Population Forecast predicts that the number of mobile workers world-companies that embrace a flexible management style in order to attract wide will reach 1.19 billion by 2013 [note: “mobile workers” in the studybright young engineers in the competitive technology sector. However, included office-based, non-office based and home-based mobile workers,it appears that the adoption of mobility in one form or another is more a very broad definition]. [6]pervasive, but less predictable, than many of us have believed. Looking ahead, Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice at theConsider these words addressing workplace flexibility. “It’s about attract- London Business School, describes how work will continue to evolve. “Bying and retaining top talent in the workforce and empowering them to do 2025, we can expect that more than five billion people will be connectedtheir jobs, and judging their success by the results that they get – not by by mobile devices, the Internet ’Cloud’ will deliver low-cost computinghow many meetings they attend, or how much face time they log.” services, an increasing amount of work will be performed by robots and self-created content will…create an unprecedented amount of informa-This is not the late Steve Jobs, or Cisco’s John Chambers speaking. It tion in the world knowledge net.” [7]is Barack Obama, President of the United States, in a 2010 speech athis Whitehouse Forum on Workplace Flexibility. Robert A. Peck, head Given the above, there is little doubt that the business world is embracingof the Public Buildings Service, echoes the President’s statement in a mobility and that our work life will now be played out in diverse loca-U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) report. “Mobility is a fact of tions: corporate head offices, satellite offices, client/customer sites andlife—how most people work today. They embrace it because it improves remote office centers that lease space to “free radicals” and individualstheir performance.” [3] from multiple companies. Outside the “real” office, people will work in the airport lounge or public library, the home office and the oft-usedAdding weight to the statements above, these figures are cited in a study Starbucks example. For the record, I’d like to point out that no part ofby the Telework Coalition, a non-profit educational and advocacy orga- this paper was researched or written at a Starbucks.nization based in Washington, D.C:• 89 of the top 100 U.S. companies offer telecommuting• 58% of companies consider themselves a virtual workplace• 67% of all workers use mobile and wireless computing [4]According to another survey, 600 executives from around the worldreported in “VWork: Measuring the Benefits of Agility at Work,” that62.5% of large enterprises surveyed have already rolled out new ways ofworking and 59% of respondents report that they have the right tools towork effectively outside the workplace. [5]
  • mobility problem or comprimise ?
  • As one writer said about mobility: “The train has left the station.” Thereseems to be no turning back and there appears to be minimal resistance—even excitement—about the potential for greater mobility to support par-ticipation, productivity and ultimately, innovation. Mobility promises tobe a win for all those involved—top-tier business leaders, IT managers,the workforce, the customer. The potential benefits most often cited are:3.40 01 02 03 04 3.41 Business People W o r k p l ac e Environmental • Potential for decrease in real • Work/life balance • Promote interaction & collaboration • Decrease energy use e state/capital assets • Improved personal health & safety • Increase in productivity • Reduce emissions & carbon footprint • Access to a global pool of talent • Increased ability to do focused work
  • 3.43Platformula For Success the open floor plan was vital to the success of the shared chair policy .
  • B e t t e r f o r B u s i n e s s : M o r e E f f i c i e n t U s e o f S p ac eFor a business trend to become common practice, it has to make money throughinnovation or save money—either by streamlining processes and making peoplemore efficient or by lowering expenditures on buildings, furniture, equipment andso forth. In the 1950s, many companies adopted the new open plan because ofits space-saving cost advantages, not because of the humanistic social benefits en-visioned by the architects who had devised the open office landscape. Now, wefind ourselves on a similar path, pursuing both humanistic and economic goals.So, how does employee mobility lower costs? For one thing, we can plan offices toaddress the fact that3.44 3.45 an employee who is in the office 50% of the time doesn’t need a designated 48-square-foot space, but rather a well-designed space for when he or she actually lands.
  • In some cases, that space can be shared so that it is in use 100% of the time—thus, maximizing real estate. Thepotential is certainly there to reduce the amount of leased space or capital expenditures—how well it can be real-ized is still to be seen.It must be noted that we are not seeing a fire sale of office space as companies move to smaller spaces. Rather, thespace afforded by trimming the size and number of workstations is now allocated to public spaces where people cannaturally “collide” and interact. As much as offices were once planned for individuals, today’s office is designedfor groups, with lounges, coffee bars and multiple informal collaborative settings—a radical change in thinking andplanning if not in the amount of floor space.3.46 3.47 B e t t e r f o r B u s i n e s s : A La r g e r P o o l o f Ta l e n t Rami Mazid, Vice President-IT, Global Client Services and Operations at Cisco, has suggested another business benefit of new communications technology. He points out that Cisco employees now collaborate with remote team members regardless of their location, providing the company with a much larger pool of talent. Cisco can tap the skills of the best engineers, designers and marketers from around the world, selecting those best suited to a specific project. [8] As an executive telecommuter, Mazid decides whether to work at his Cis- co office or from home based on his calendar and work schedule for the day. When he is in the office, most of his team meetings are conducted online using WebEx to accommodate employees working from remote locations. Clearly, this VP is adept at leveraging advanced communica- tion tools, including those that his company has developed, to meet new business challenges. [9]
  • 43% 77%P e o p l e i n M o t i o n : H e a l t h i e r a n d Ha p p i e r fig. 01 fig. 02 77% keep their phone 43% keep their smart -An astute business professor once told me that, “High volumes hide all in the bedroom . phones within reach while they sleep .sins.” And when times get tough, the real truth comes out. Workingfrom home, job sharing and reduced hours came about in large part asa response to an economic downturn. But an interesting side-effect offlexible work programs was that people were more productive when they 8%landed back in the office. Stress levels seemed to drop …and performanceimproved. 44%My reading suggests that mobility and telecommuting do indeed havepositive effects on employees, especially when it comes to achieving work/life balance and managing the conflicting demands of work and fam-ily. And thanks to unified communications technologies, especially web-based tools and services that allow dispersed teams to work together andremote workers to collaborate effectively with colleagues back at the of-fice, such alternatives are now available to employers and employees. fig. 03 fig. 04 8% of all mobile work - 44% of workers think ers wake up at night to about work even whenIn 2010, researchers from Penn State analyzed 46 studies of telecommut- check their phone . they aren t working .ing conducted over two decades and covering almost 13,000 employees.Their inquiry concluded that working from home has "favorable effectson perceived autonomy, work-family conflict, job satisfaction, perfor-mance, turnover intent, and stress." The only drawback seemed to be aslight fraying of the relationships between telecommuters and colleaguesback at headquarters—largely because the latter group felt envious ofthose enjoying the perk of telecommuting. [10]
  • P e o p l e i n M o t i o n : M o r e P r o d uc t i v eManagers often believe that telework will result in a loss ofcontrol and motivation, fearing that employees who workat home will fritter away the hours posting to Facebook orupdating their personal blog. “How do I know that theyare working if they aren’t in the office?” But after reviewinghundred of studies, Telework Research Network research-ers conclude that telecommuting actually generates higherlevels of productivity. Below are some of their findings:3.50 01 02 03 04 3.51 • Best Buy, British Telecom, Dow Chemical • Over two-thirds of employers report increased • Sun Microsystems’ experience suggests that • AT&T workers work five more hours at home and others show that teleworkers are 35-40% productivity among their telecommuters. employees spend 60% of the commuting time than their office workers. more productive. they save performing work for the company. 05 06 07 • JDEdwards teleworkers are 20-25% more • American Express workers produced 43% more • Compaq increased productivity 15%-45%. [11] productive than their office counterparts. than their office-based counterparts.
  • fig. 05 fig. 06 fig. 07 fig. 08 69% of employees experience 75% reported that the timeliness 67% say that their overall 80% report an improved increased productivity of their work improved work quality has improved quality of life [12]3.52 3.53Cisco’s Telework Survey presents a similar picture of the value or benefitsof telecommuting (on average, Cisco employees telecommute two daysper week):• 69% of employees experience increased productivity• 75% reported that the timeliness of their work improved• 67% say that their overall work quality has improved• 80% report an improved quality of life [12]"Our main intent was to really evaluate the social, economic and environ-mental impacts associated with telecommuting," says Rami Mazid. "Wesampled employees who have the flexibility and desire to telework to getthe most up-to-date information, and the key conclusion is that employeeproductivity is much higher and collaboration is the same if not betterwhen working remotely." [13]
  • "Connected" mr . bowser could engage his master during traditional office hours thanks to technology .3.54
  • As an intestesting sidebar, whilemobile technology offers great-er freedom of a sort, it extendstypical work hours—replacingthe eight-hour day with an ad 3.57hoc 12-hour workday.
  • 3.59Internally Mobile the in - motion workers , with the help of r + d , made a promising combination of innovation and ideation they dubbed collaborative isolation .
  • "Connected" “ blasto ,” and , “ fandarr the ambitious ” enabled the global team to effectively communicate in a virtual re - ality work environment .
  • P e o p l e i n M o t i o n : Ou t o f S i g h t a n d Ou t o f C o n t r o l ? Tech companies such as Cisco, Citrix Online and eBay have embraced telework, but so have Booz Allen Hamilton and American Fidelity Assur- ance according to Fortune magazine. Others resist, often based on the assumption that employees have to be controlled—close at hand if not in the manager’s direct line of sight. This assumption has not been born out in practice, but it has an analog in the employee who fears that, “out of sight is out of mind.” Employees may feel that “face time” is essential for advancement. Or, if staff reductions are in the offing, that it makes sense to be present and accounted for if one is not to be among the first to go. Our research indicates that while leading and managing remote teams or a mobile workforce may require a different managerial style—more like that of an orchestra conductor, a coach or an ambassador—that there is no inherent problem in keeping mobile workers on track. In fact, perfor- mance often improves.3.62 Mobility and the Environment: Shrinking our Footprint Having faced up (more or less) to the environmental effects of human industry and consumption, many of us have made changes in our daily habits to reduce our impact. We sort our trash. We use less paper. WePeople in Motion: A Longer Workday turn off the lights, if not our computers. We buy “green” products orIt’s been estimated that mobile workers work an additional 40% over their static coworkers. those that are produced locally and often display loyalty to companies with a responsible image.Cisco’s 2009 Telework Survey cited above found that people do spend more time workingwhen they telecommute. Of the time saved by not commuting, 60% was spent workingmore, while only 40% of the time saved was consumed by personal activities. Still, workinglonger hours, but with a chance to break for quiet time or a jog through the park, may be lessstressful and contribute to health, productivity and job satisfaction.Personal friend and colleague Kay Sargent, formerly a principal of IA Architects, now atTeknion, comments: “The notion that people work effectively for 8 hours straight is unre-alistic. Have you ever heard someone say they are a 2 pm kind of person? Most people aremorning or evening people and do their best work or thinking early or late.” Mobility makesit possible for people to work when they are most effective, and to refresh when breaks areneeded, rather than soldiering on as dictated by the eight-hour workday.
  • In both business and in government,promoting worker mobility is per-ceived as a part of environmentalresponsibility:3.64 01 02 03 3.65 • In 1996, the U.S. Clean Air Act required • In 1999, the National Air Quality and • In 2005, Congress threatened to withhold companies with over 100 employees to encour- Telecommuting Act set up pilot “ecommute” money from agencies that failed to provide tele- age car pools, public transportation, shortened programs in five metropolitan areas that commuting options to all eligible employees. [15] workweeks and telecommuting to reduce CO2 ran from 2001 to 2004. In 2000, each Federal emissions and improve air quality. executive agency had to establish a policy under which eligible employees could partici- pate in telework.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a number of programsthat promote telecommuting as one way to improve the livability of cit-ies and preserve the environment. The agency allows up to 30% of itsemployees to telecommute because the practice reduces auto emissions,energy use and traffic congestion.Research conducted by Kate Lister and her colleagues at the TeleworkResearch Network indicates that if the 40% of the U.S. population thatholds telework-compatible jobs and wants to work from home did so justhalf of the time:3.66 01 02 03 3.67 • The nation would save 280 million barrels of • The environment would realize the equiv- • National productivity would be increased by oil (37% of Gulf oil imports). alent of taking nine million cars permanently five-and-a-half-million man-years. [16] off the road.A joint study by the National Science Foundation and the TeleworkExchange, based on responses from 87% of its employees, found thatthe NSF telework program reduces emissions by more than one millionpounds and saves more than $700,000 in commuting costs each year. Ad-ditionally, IT strategies that support mobility reduced operational energyconsumption. All NSF employees are eligible to work remotely and 51%of them do so; 32% on a regular basis. [16]Cisco Systems, too, reports that in 2008, Cisco teleworkers prevented ap-proximately 47,320 metric tons of emissions from being released into theatmosphere. Cisco employees report savings of $10.3 million per year infuel costs due to telecommuting. [17]
  • 3.69Night Computer Classes fax machine was making progress with his personal trainer and determined to remain competitive in the new age .
  • Business and mobile workersalike have found that teleworkand other forms of mobility pro-vide tangible benefits. 3.73 P e o p l e i n M o t i o n : A B e t t e r Wa y t o W o r k Among companies in the vanguard of mobility, Cisco designs its offices with the remote worker in mind. Employees who work almost exclusively from home can opt out of having an assigned on-site office or workstation altogether, dropping in to the office for a day or an hour at a shared or touchdown space. [18] Similarly, Johnson and Johnson’s Flexwork program offers incentives to employees who opt to work remotely—and 23% do so. If employees “give us their workspace they get better technology, an internet allowance and access to space on site – anything they need.” According to CNN Money, the family owned company has an incredibly low turnover rate of 2% and ranks #10 among Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for. Thus, mobility may also help companies retain great employees.
  • presence being there when you ’ re not
  • Thus far, mobility seems like a boon to business and knowledge worker alike and we seem to beadapting rather quickly to the new freedom provided by technology. It wasn’t long ago—prior tothe iPhone and the BlackBerry—that one often had to rush back to the office to send or retrievee-mails. Now, we can pick up messages wherever we happen to be—a great time saver. But whatare the difficulties associated with straddling virtual and physical space? If connectivity tears4.76 down walls, 4.77 does it also build them?
  • If distance workers experience greater autonomy, do they also feel isolated and lonely? Do we still need the office and why?4.78 4.79The Power of PresenceCharles Handy, writing in the Harvard Business Review, has said, “Paradoxically, the more virtual the organization, the moreits people need to meet in person.” Handy, a respected specialist in organizational behavior and management, proposesthat people come to the office to be part of larger groups and teams and need spaces for this to happen. They come to theoffice for stimulus and companionship and need spaces for this, too. [18]Anthony F. Buono and Kenneth W. Kerber, writing for the Advanced Management Journal, address the problem of effectivecollaboration at a distance. Drawing from research by several groups, Buono reports that achieving alignment and com-mitment to the team’s purpose is far more challenging for virtual teams, especially those that cannot meet face-to-face atthe outset. In the absence of face-to-face communication, virtual teams may be prone to misunderstandings and conflict.Especially during team formation, personal contact and socializing help to build trust and aid the team’s success. [19]
  • An interesting paradox arises. While companiescan hire or retain the best people for a projectregardless of location, there are questions aboutthe effectiveness of teams that must rely whollyon technology to work together while apart.4.80 The freedom, flexibility and agility provided by technology may promote the kind of diverse teams that produce innovation.
  • Reliance on technology to engage people in creative collaboration may also make it difficult to build shared identities andgoals and thus impair motivation and personal performance.T h e P r o b l e m o f V i r t ua l D i s t a n c eKaren Sobel Lojeski and Richard R. Reilly, authors of Uniting the Virtual Workforce, also point out the costs of psychologi-cal distance that result when people interact mainly through electronic media. They coined the term “virtual distance” torefer to the “dis-connect” that occurs when people spend more time with computers than with each other. Communicationfiltered through technology presents significant challenges to effective collaboration and innovation. [20]As defined by Lojeski and Reilly, virtual distance refers to the lack of presence that occurs when people who work at ageographic distance must communicate via e-mail, phone or teleconference. However, it also denotes an associate just theother side of a corridor whom may never drop by your desk, but communicates by e-mail or text alone and thus creates apsychological gulf.4.82 Equally, multi-tasking with an overload of input from too many sources—laptop, iPhone and worktable neighbor—can dilute attention and presence and thus create an interpersonal disconnect. Virtual distance inhibits establishing affinity or the sense of common purpose that holds a team together despite location, nationality or place in the organization. These researchers note how misunderstandings can occur because of the loss of physi- cal cues in electronic communication—eye contact, body language, intonation or the size of the pupil in another’s eyes (indicating interest or engagement). Conversations are also less likely to be spontaneous, informal or “off problem,” even when using media-rich tools for real-time exchanges. Participants in a teleconference discussion tend to stick to the agenda with less of the give-and-take that can lead to new ideas and insights.
  • 4.85Tactics the company ’ s flypaper wall units perhaps focused too heavily on retaining talent from competitors .4.84
  • Virtual teams must buildtrust differently.4.88 4.89 Building or Breaking Trust When you talk with workmates by the photocopier, meet for lunch or share a ride home, you can soon begin to assess his or her character. In a geographically distributed team, trust is measured primarily in terms of reliability. Ultimately, the key to being an effective member or leader of a virtual team is clear, consistent and effective communication. Achieving this can be tricky, leading some companies to provide training programs to develop the special skills required for electronic collaboration and leadership. Few would deny that there’s a big difference between gathering around a table and meeting via conference call or video conference. The lack of social presence leads to lower levels of engagement and, on top of that, interruptions from cell- phones or unexpected visitors create distractions that make it difficult to keep everyone’s attention. The problem is more acute if people are phoning in from different time zones and hemispheres, with some fresh and alert and others attending at midnight after a long hard day. Whether collaborating in physical or digital space, misunderstandings and conflict can arise due to the diversity of complex multi-disciplinary teams whose members may have different cultural backgrounds, as well as differences in age, function and personality. In such cases, it is important to establish an operational structure and clear protocols for communication and the coordination—and to be sensitive to differences in language, customs, disciplines and other areas of difference.
  • Electronic communication has many ad-vantages, not least among them that itcan bring more good minds together tobear on important problems—4.90 4.91 or foster discussion across a dispersed organization. Physicians can seek help from other specialists even if they are on the other side of the world. Writers can confer with editors without leaving their desk. Presen- tations can be made to business partners in the U.S., Europe and Japan simultaneously over Internet-based meeting platforms. You can be present anywhere even when you’re not. So, who needs in-person consulta- tions, meetings, mentoring or brainstorming?
  • contact the human factor
  • 5.95Single File Sharing there was always at least one person at the communal laptop who tipped the vote towards cat videos .
  • Whenever I am asked if the officewill disappear, I resort to one psy-chological fact. Human beings aresocial animals who need physicalcontact to thrive. 5.99 Consider how important the handshake is upon being introduced in a business context. Or, how language conveys the importance of physical presence in idioms such as “let’s get in touch” or “he failed to grasp the import of my remarks.” One of the findings of a 10-year study by the MacArthur Foundation is that those who live longest are those who continually have interactions with people (outside physical/medical conditions) or meetings with larger organizational groups. [21]
  • information, “we overlook the social processes that scaffold information exchange,” as well as the context that frames it. Conducting interviews with people collaborating across organizational boundaries in 12 companies, workers talked about “the impor- tance of shared bodily activities in facilitating social bonding and showing commitment: touching, eating and drinking together, engaging in mutually meaningful experiences in a common physical space, and ‘showing up’ in person.” [24]In the middle of the workday, talking to a real, live person can give usa surge of energy. "In-person contact stimulates an emotional reaction,"says Lawrence Honig, a neurologist at Columbia University, adding that After all, what is more engaging? Watching a lecture on-screen or attending a lecturehormones are higher when people are face-to-face. And research studies surrounded by people who respond to the speaker with laughter or comments? Perhapsindicated that face-to-face contact stimulates the attention and pleasure making eye contact with speaker? How does the physical proximity of the speaker affectneurotransmitter dopamine, as well as serotonin, a neurotransmitter thatreduces fear and worry. People seem to be hard-wired to need other the presentation? And how does talking with others over coffee afterwards enrich thepeople. [22] experience and perhaps add something to the ideas presented?Edward M. Hallowell, a noted psychiatrist and author of The Human Mo-ment at Work in the Harvard Business Review relates this story: A CEO in Socializing is important as a foundation for collaboration, making a strong case for thespeaking about his business once said, “high tech requires high touch.” office as a site of interaction. Not to be dismissed as inconsequential chats in the hall, so-He explained that every time his company made another part of its opera-tions virtual—moving salespeople entirely into the field, for instance— cializing creates common bonds and a sense of collective identity and collegiality. In thethe company’s culture suffered. So he had developed a policy that re- office, people talk, laugh, listen, show, celebrate, mentor and establish the trust necessaryquired all virtual teams to come into the office at least once a month forunstructured face time. for productive discussions, cocreating and sharing knowledge in order to reach a goal.“It’s like what happened when banks introduced ATMs”, the CEO said.“Once people didn’t know Alice behind the counter or any of the lendingagents behind those glass walls…there was no familiarity, no trust.” TheCEO and Hallowell conclude that for a business to do well, you can’t havetech, without contact—they have to work together. [23]Mobile Workers: Social BeingsAs a parallel line of thought, the authors of Distributed Work note thatcommunication is more than an exchange of data. Information exchangeis indeed a key goal of communication, but by focusing exclusively on
  • 5.103Avatars “ blasto ” and “ fandarr the ambitious ” enabled the global team to effectively communicate in a virtual reality work environment .
  • S o c i a l i z i n g i n V i r t ua l S p ac ePromoting a collegial culture and casual interaction is tough enough in physical space, and invirtual space, more difficult still. How does one replicate the random encounters that occur inthe physical world?Anne-Laure Fayard and John Weeks writing Who Moved My Cube? in the Harvard Business Reviewsuggest translating the kind of engagement that occurs in the office to the virtual setting. “Whenvirtual team members come to know one another beyond the confines of their job, the team isstrengthened. Understanding this, Nokia…provided social networking tools and other online re-sources specifically to encourage employees to share photos and personal information, and createdvirtual “offices” that were open 24/7.” [25]IDEO is a company that has grown from a handful of people to 500+ employees in eight loca-tions around the world. The experience of those involved in IDEO’s two-year effort to create andimplement "the Tube," an enterprise-wide intranet system for knowledge sharing, reinforces theimportance of mirroring the company culture and social processes for collaboration or “informa-tion exchange.” “The unique success of the Tube comes from the insight that5.106 5.107 effective knowledge sharing is a social ac- tivity that is enabled by technolog y, rather than a technological solution bolted onto an existing work culture.” [26]
  • The Tube, according to IDEO’s Chief Technology Officer, Doug Solomon, provides tools designedto allow individuals, teams and enterprise-wide groups to share information and collaborate, but“more importantly, these tools are needed to encourage natural communities of passion to emerge.”The knowledge-sharing team realized that technology alone does not foster collaboration, and, infact, can create nearly as many barriers to collaboration as it enables.“Frictionless accessibility is key,” say the authors of Who Moved My Cube? in the Harvard BusinessReview. “Our studies show that if connecting with a team member online requires more than oneclick, informal encounters won’t happen.” When you run into someone at the coffee machine inthe office, it is natural to exchange pleasantries, which may lead to a more significant conversa-tion. But it is difficult to replicate such spontaneous social behaviors in a virtual environment.At the same time, “When virtual-team members come to know one another beyond the confinesof their job, the team is strengthened.” [27] New technologies, intelligently deployed, do help to create “communities of pas- sion” at sophisticated companies like IDEO. Still, there’s almost no way to recreate5.108 the kind of interactions that occur among people gathered in a lunchroom or copy room. Again, quoting Who Moved My Cube?, “People gathered around [the copy ma- chine] might discover in the documents coming off the machine, the write-up of a col- league’s project that’s relevant to their own work”…and a rich discussion might ensue. In the knowledge economy, the office serves not as a place to house the equipment, docu- ments and people necessary for work to take place, but rather as a site for facilitating the flow of information between and among people, a place where workers create formal and informal networks and build a sense of community and reciprocity that underpins collective action. For modern knowledge and creative workers, the office holds the potential to be a richly diverse community of practice, a center of excellence, a crucible of innovation.
  • models choosing bricks or clicks
  • As part of my research, I investigated the workplace strategies of fivevery different organizations—all respected industry leaders, driven bytechnology and requiring a high level of creativity to succeed in theirfield. And yet, all design and utilize the office in a unique way; incor-porating mobile technology to a greater or lesser degree to achieve theirgoals of productivity and innovation. Each has created a unique mix oftechnology, people, design and fresh business models to achieve greatness.6.112 6.113 In the Field: T h e Wa y W e R e a l l y W o r k For this paper, several companies were visited, including many in the Bay Area—the epicenter of technological innovation and, one might assume, of companies defined by a mobile workforce. However, it quickly became clear that each company had its own approach to the potential for mobil- ity. Vanguard companies like Pixar and Google, for example, do not en- courage telecommuting, but rather make every effort to bring employees to the workplace—and keep them there. IBM on the other hand encour- ages telework and has put in place strong programs to support those who choose to work off-site.
  • in - place / in - office external mobile in - place / in - office external mobile workers workers workers workers pixar google teknion skype ibm internal mobile telecommuters6.114 internal mobile telecommuters worker S workers fig. 09 fig. 10P i x a r : I n P l ac e , I n t e r n a l l y M o b i l eA hugely successful animated film studio, Pixar’s accomplishments are extraordinary: 26 AcademyAwards, seven Golden Globes and three Grammy Awards. Not to mention the fact that its filmshave grossed over $6.3 billion worldwide with Toy Story 3 earning the distinction of highest gross-ing animated film of all time. The studio’s hits also include A Bug’s Life, Ratatouille, Cars, Mon-sters, Inc, Finding Nemo and Up, the first animated and 3D film to open the Cannes Film Festival.A hotbed of creativity and collaboration, Pixar houses its employees in several buildings parceledout over a campus in Emeryville, across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco. There are numeroussmall meeting spaces in each building, but also one enormous central hall in the main buildingwhere all paths are likely to intersect. Every employee has access to a lap pool, basketball and vol-leyball courts, a soccer pitch, wellness center and a very popular cereal bar dispensing Cocoa Puffsand Frosted Flakes 24 hours a day.
  • Con Ceiling the primary function of the company ’ s drop ceiling is hiding from employees the secret amusement park that fills the remaining floors .6.116
  • Anthony Lane, writing for The New Yorker, describes one of Pixar’s newest buildings—designated“Brooklyn”—as a “calm concoction of brick and reclaimed wood” equipped with a rooftop camera“which gazes westward, allowing the weary to sit downstairs and watch the changing weather overthe Golden Gate Bridge. Hardier souls, meanwhile, will ascend to the open-air deck on the topfloor, take a drink from the bar, and survey their domain.” His description begins to give you anidea of the Pixar lifestyle. [28]To employ a cliché, Pixar employees are exceptionally talented people who work hard and playhard in an atmosphere of intense communal creativity. Expectations are high. Yet, there’s a senseof fun. There is little or no telecommuting. Mobility occurs primarily within the campus as peo-ple circulate with laptops, tablets and cellphones. Given the extraordinary success of its animatedfilms, Pixar’s workplace strategy is working very well.GOOGLE : I n t e r n a l M o b i l i t yWith assets of more than $58 billion and a global employee roster of around 10,000, it’s hard tobelieve that Google has been in business a mere 15 years. Yet, this smart start-up by two Stanfordcomputer science grads is one of the most admired companies in the world, receiving over 1,000resumes a day from engineers and other hopeful Googlers. More importantly, Google has become 6.119a part of the social fabric and the verb, to “Google,” is an active part of our vocabulary. For many,Google is where we begin any Internet journey.How does a company that has surfed a technology-infused wave to the heights of success work?Does this forward-thinking organization exist primarily in the digital dimension? Not at all. The Googleplex is almost a self-contained city, or per- haps a university, where interaction is encouraged and “office flow” keeps the engines of invention humming.
  • Any visitor to Google’s global headquarters in Mountain View, California, steps onto a campuswhere workers pedal from building to building on bicycles provided by the company. It is a highlyteam-oriented, collegial environment and the on-campus perks are enviable. In fact, Google goesfar beyond most companies to get people to and from the office.Lunch and dinner are free—and the company’s chefs are reported to be excellent. Google em-ployees can get a massage, swim laps and relieve tension at the volleyball court. There’s also anon-site car wash, bike repair, laundry, hair stylist and free medical check-ups. But most tellingabout the company’s approach to workforce mobility—or more specifically, telework—is a shuttlebus system that transports Google employees to and from work.Google “ferries about 1,200 employees to and from work daily—nearly one-fourth of its local workforce—aboard 32 shuttle buses equipped with leather seats and wireless Internet access.” Work-ers can bring bicycles and dogs. The buses are free. And they run on bio-diesel, thus earning thecompany and its riders “green” credits for using eco-friendly fuel and “ditching their cars.” [29]Shuttles pick up commuters as far away as Concord and as far south as Santa Cruz, running morethan 100 trips every day to approximately 40 pick-up and drop-off locations in the East Bay, SanFrancisco and the South Bay. Google seems to have built an unparalleled transit network to make 6.121sure that its employees come to the Googleplex rather than work remotely from an apartment inSan Francisco or Oakland.Having arrived at the Googleplex, workers are highly mobile internally in a remarkably appeal- SKYPE : I n - P l ac e , I n t e r n a l M o b i l i t y , E x t e r n a l M o b i l i t ying and lively environment. Shared spaces are the center of Google life. People interact in team “Skype me.” Founded in 2003, the European company Skype hasmeetings, break rooms and the office café at lunch or dinner, sitting at any table with an empty added another new proper noun/verb hybrid to our vocabulary.seat and conversing with Googlers from other teams—or indeed the CEO. As Google’s web site Recently acquired by Microsoft for $8.5 billion, Skype software al-says, everyone “should feel comfortable sharing ideas and opinions.” This contained, yet open lows users to make voice and video calls, or chat, over the Internet.environment, has made Google the undisputed leader in Internet searches, cloud computing anddigital advertising. Given the company’s software, one might expect that here would be a company of teleworkers collaborating in real time with oth- ers around the world. As Skype’s web site promises, “With Skype, you can share a story, celebrate a birthday, learn a language, hold a meeting, work with colleagues – just about anything you need to do together every day.” However, while electronic communication is certainly frequent, most workers at the Palo Alto site (Skype is based in Luxembourg and has major offices in London and Stock- holm) do come in to the office to work.
  • Relaxed, open and spacious, Skype’s office is designed with lots of ex-posed piping, concrete and plywood. People sit at open workbenches andmeet in spaces furnished with bright red chairs, low tables and white-boards. There are also touchdown areas for teleworkers, media stationsdesigned for small groups and a cozy lounge for quiet time.6.122 One of the more unique features is the extensive use of whiteboards hanging from pegs that allow workers to take the boards down and move them around—a low-tech solution to sharing ideas that is working very well at Skype.
  • Skype’s flexible workplace strategy—a combination of in-place and internally and externally mo-bile workers—together with its democratic work culture provides an excellent context for theintegration of new ideas and new processes that lead to innovation.I B M : I n - P l ac e , E x t e r n a l M o b l i t y , T e l e w o r kIBM is a typical big, multi-national company we all know—or is it? A $65 billion dollar corpora-tion, IBM is among the 20 largest in the United States, the top 10 most profitable and recentlycelebrated its centennial anniversary. For 100 years, the IT and business consulting company hasworked to “make the world work better,” developing innovative systems, servers and software thathave changed how people work and live—do you remember going to the bank before ATMs, anIBM innovation?IBM’s innovation extends to how it organizes and supports its employees. Big Blue was one of thefirst corporations to provide group life insurance (1934), survivor benefit (1935) and paid vaca- Describing IBM’s recently renovated downtown office in the Toronto Star: “Shared desks, stay-tions (1937). Today, IBM offers employees the chance to design their own workday to meet both at-home workers, space at a premium: welcome to Toronto’s new alternative offices. With com-the demands of clients and of family. This “traditional” company has instituted major telework mercial real estate prices still high and sustainability a hot topic, some brave (or crazy, perhaps)programs across the organization to reduce employee commuting, heighten morale and improve companies are turning their workplaces upside down in a bid to shrink their square footage—andretention rates. their carbon footprint.” [30]IBM employs about 6,000 people in the Greater Toronto Area and has two main facilities, the IBM Published in 2010, the article goes on to quote Jim Brodie, manager of IBM’s “workplace-on-Software Lab in Markham and the smaller downtown Wellington Street offices on the third floor demand” program. Brodie works from his own home and goes into the office only for meetings.of the TD Waterhouse Tower. There are approximately 2,500 workstations and 1,200 of those are “Young talent expects to work this way. Old folks want to ‘retire’ to the cottage and work from there.”used on a daily basis. Almost no one has a private office and a large number of people—managersincluded—work remotely for at least two days a week. Upon arriving at the IBM office, employees can go to a touch-screen kiosk to pull up a map of the office, see which desks are open for booking and where coworkers have logged in. Inside, the sleekIn order to coordinate a huge network of teleworkers, IBM employs a Rapid Reserve System white desks are arranged in pinwheels and divided only by low panels and cupboards for temporar-that employees use to reserve a desk or group meeting space. The system can be accessed from ily storing coats, umbrellas and other items. The space is light, airy and open—an appropriatea computer or phone. While managing so many remote workers has its challenges, the rewards representation of the company culture.are significant. By sharing desks and allowing employees to work from home, IBM reduced itsToronto office space by 40% and energy use at its offices has plummeted. So have the costs of air Globally, IBM has reduced its office space by 78 million square feet since 1995; 40% of itsconditioning, heating and lighting. 386,000 employees do not have a traditional office and thousands more work outside the office part of the time (figures are as of 2009). “Work is no longer where you are, but what you do.” [31] The different forms that mobility takes among these four companies—all highly successful, all with a technology-based business—indicates that there is no one way or best way for a company to incorporate mobility or adopt practices like telework.
  • reconnected let ’ s get together
  • Building a mobile workforce can be a strongcompetitive advantage, as well as providing eco-nomic, ecological and humanistic benefits. Atthe same time, my research indicates that theoffice is not going away in the near future—ifPixar and Google are any indication. Of course,one would hardly call the Pixar “fun factory”a traditional office (working at Pixar is almostsynonymous with lifestyle); nonetheless, it doesreveal the satisfaction that people can find work-ing together in one place.7.128 7.129 The emergence of collective or coworking spaces may be testament to the human de- sire for social contact.
  • 7.131Tic Tac Doh johnson s nemesis once again staked the coveted center position at the strategy meeting .
  • C o l l e c t i v e W o r k S p ac e sRecently, a collective office space—irreverently called Grind—opened its doors in New York’sUnion Square high-tech hub. As reported by Teressa Ierezzi in Fast Company, the impetus behindGrind is the likelihood that, “by choice or not, a growing number of people will find themselvesworking outside of the traditional, full-time template…” where work is about commuting to andsitting in a central office. Ty Montague, one of Grind’s cofounders (as well as a cofounder of theCo: Collective creative consultancy) is “designed to actively facilitate the leap from corporate lifeby offering not only a place to work but a community of like-minded people who can share adviceand, sometimes, skills.” [32]And Grind isn’t the only coworking space out there. Deskwanted.com, a web site dedicated tocoworking spaces, shared workspaces and meeting spaces, lists more than 15,000 desks in sharedworkspaces around the globe—including one in my own city, Toronto, known as the Marketcrash-ers Hackernest. This shared office is fully furnished, available 24/7 and self-described as a “social,open-concept affordable space…to convene, collaborate and create.” And in San Francisco, NextSpace provides a physical and virtual infrastructure for a “collaborative community for freelancers,entrepreneurs and creative class professionals.” And such cross-sector workspaces are popping upin cities across the U.S. Is this the best of both worlds? [33] 7.135A recently introduced app, LiquidSpace, is designed to locate oases of connected space—high-endbusiness centers, coworking spaces and even conference rooms and settings appropriate for VCpitches. Additionally, the app has a scheduling system for office owners looking to rent space topotential business partners. Yes, there’s an app for that. Yet, we are also learning that,B ac k H o m e A t t h e O f f i c eWe find ourselves at an interesting juncture in which human beings and their technologies are given the right context, teamsmore inter-connected, more “intimate,” than ever before. Thanks to mobile devices, “un-tethered”workers are now capable of accessing and sharing ideas and information however dis-connected who work in close physicalthey may be in time and space. proximity enjoy an intellectu- al intimacy that sets off sparks and brings forth information.
  • This is an interesting dichotomy. Knowledge workers are ca-pable of working alone and enjoying the benefits of fewer in-terruptions and distractions. Yet ideas take shape and becomesolutions as they move through an organization. What then,is the role of the office given the tools at our disposal and thenature of human creativity?7.136 7.137 Certainly, there’s no rush to eliminate the office. In fact, as we discussed briefly above, the central workplace clearly retains its relevance within the eco-system of an organization. In a hyper-connected world, people “show up” primarily for meetings, face-to-face teamwork and serendipitous collaboration—and the most effective spaces seem to be those that create proximity and eliminate barriers to communication, while also providing sufficient privacy to dispel anxiety about being overheard or interrupted.
  • The office space must also convey per-mission for casual conversations tooccur—and so must company culture.7.138 7.139 Managers can potentially sabotage collaboration by transmitting disap- proval to employees lingering in a break room or lounge area. And such potentially collaborative spaces may carry a stigma if not designed to permit work, as well as random encounters. The office retains its importance as a space where leaders can walk around and get a feel for what’s going on, pick up cues about who’s talking to whom and who is not, or drop in on meetings to listen, contribute or motivate. In the office, coaching can happen by chance in the hallway, leaders have an opportunity to inspire people gathered together in one room and proximity can create a feeling of connection simply because executives are having lunch in the same room as a recent hire, the sort of thing that does happen at companies like Google.
  • It is a “hub” for staff and clients, vendors, partners and other business associates that reflects the philosophy and personal- ity of the organization—and helps to shape its culture. The Pixar campus is a great example. It says, “We’re in the business of delivering entertainment. We’re creative. We have fun.” The office can still be an important place to undertake concentrated work that may not be easy to pursue in a noisy coffee shop with people coming and going or the home office if there are children, pets and spouses underfoot. Not to mention the lack of a comfortable ergonomic chair, well-designed table, lighting and immediate access to a copier, or other equip- ment and supplies. Of course, the open office has its own share of noise, distractions and disruptions, but when thought- fully designed will also include quiet rooms, enclaves or other provisions for concentrated work. 7.141It is also important to remem-ber that the office is a symbol,a brand expression that con-veys the unique brand messageto everyone who interacts withthe space.
  • For now, the office is not likelyto go the way of the phoneboothor the mailbox.7.142 7.143 We can exchange lots of data without ever being in another’s presence, but it’s still nice to know that the people on your team aren’t just sources of information, they’re comrades and allies.
  • maps the geography of work
  • Cheap, fast and reliable communication permits such phenomena as inte- grated national economies, multi-national corporations and, more prosai- cally perhaps, one’s personal experience of events and places. As a teenager leaving the house for a night out with my friends, my par- ents gave me a quarter in case I needed to make an emergency call or if I was going to be late. I knew the location of every public telephone in my town. I could have written a Fodor’s guide on public phones—which were clean, which were busiest (always important to avoid telephone lineups— I promise, they really did exist), which were the most private and which ones were always broken or doubled as public toilets. I had to carry that map in my head. I had to stay connected to our friends and family. To- day, I know where to find good Wi-Fi or at least an app that gives me this knowledge (thank you, free boingo app).8.146 8.147Technology and globalization (which is largelyattributable to technology) have altered irrevo-cably the landscape of our lives and the way we“map” our world.
  • 8.149Tiny Footprint eventually the telephone sign would be all that remained of the original phonebooth , having expanded to include a coffee bar , disco club and movie theater .
  • The difference in the city land-scape, the difference in my“mapping” behaviors and mystore of knowledge is all due tomobile technology: my laptopand smartphone and whatev- 8.153er magical device comes next. T h e N e w O f f i c e La n d s ca p e These same tools have also changed organizational maps—the “geography” of a company’s facilities and personnel. And technology has changed the map of the workplace itself. Office design today is about people and culture, rather than machines. It’s about creating a place where people want to be, an environment that serves the reasons people come to the office: companionship, collaboration, community. The New Demographics The design of today’s workplace must address, among other considerations, the variety of individual and group activities that take place within the frame of the office and the needs of people whose work allows or requires different levels of mobility. As I briefly mentioned earlier in the paper, we can identify four main groups of workers who require some type of accommodation in the physical office space.
  • Fixed-Focus/In-Office Workers: These resident workers spend all or most of their time working at a designated desk in an enclosed or open workspace within a central or satellite office building. They may use mobile technology—a laptop, tablet or smartphone—while at their desk and to carry along when summoned to a meeting or when traveling to a client’s premises.
  • Unmasked seeing freddie unchanged before the in - office workers meeting made karen relax about not having time to change out of her gym shoes .8.158
  • 8.161New Catalog Item the addition of the venn diagram rug in in - office worker randy ’ s space helped him feel more in control of his work - life balance .
  • In-Motion/On-site Workers: These internally mobile workers come to an office building or cor- porate campus to work, but may or may not have an assigned desk. Rather, each person may be issued a laptop and a locker for personal items and work at various sites within the office—shared work- spaces, casual collaborative spaces and private quiet rooms are all possible sites for work. In-motion/on-site workers include not only corporate employees who are frequently in motion, but also those who work in a hos- pital, warehouse, plant or retail store, moving from location to lo- cation throughout the day—for example, nurses, IT technicians, plant superintendents and facility managers.
  • The Edge the in - motion worker team - building excercise featured trust falls outside the wi - fi network range .8.166
  • 8.169Status Symbol in - motion worker devon made a splash with his sport - utility - sized cellphone despite his chiropractor ’ s advice .
  • ExternallyMobile Workers: These “road warriors” tend to be in constant motion, working the majority of the time in different locations and relying on technol- ogy to stay connected to “base camp,” as well as support from the IT department within the enterprise. Externally mobile workers include consultants, sales representatives, specialists who provide services to various offices, or clients and executives who spend most of their time traveling.
  • Ve n t i externally mobile worker karen had the luxury of ordering a jacuzzi cappucino before her teleconference .8.174
  • 8.177More Than An Apron the coffee shop saw an opportunity to engage externally mobile workers with their tactical recreation squad of baristas .
  • Distance Workers: Although distance workers perform their work outside a central physical building such as a corporate headquarters or regional of- fice, they work primarily in one place such as a home office. They may be employees or contractors who do visit the central office from time to time to meet face-to-face with colleagues or participate in team meetings. Distance workers are also referred to as telecom- muters, area workers and dial-in workers.
  • The Conference the time had come for distance worker mike to mediate a session between coworkers cat and cactus .8.182
  • 8.185All-nighter distance worker darryl liked to gaze at the satellite office during his coffee break .
  • What will the office that accommodates these workers look like? Thereis no one answer. Finding the right path, or drawing up the right mapfor your company, requires thinking beyond the physical possibilities of abuilding. You have to assess your organization and your people, creatingphysical and virtual spaces that mirror the culture you have or aspire tobecome. One has to assess the tools and spaces that people need to ac-complish their work and also feel good about how and where they spendtheir working hours.It is well to remind ourselves that technology-enabled workers can workanywhere—and that successful companies must have a workplace strategythat is compelling enough to attract the best talent and keep it. And be-cause workers are first of all people, that will include enhancing the pos-sibilities to connect whether the connection is accomplished in cafes and 8.187lounges as at Pixar or via technology-mediated connections as at IBM. So, of every solution we propose, we must ask, “does it serve our hu- man needs and purposes?”
  • conclusion tools , teams and spaces
  • As I have discussed, technol-ogy is just the “ante to get inthe mobile workforce game.”9.190 9.191 As David Clemons and Michael Kroth learned in writing Manag- ing the Mobile Workforce and interviewing 39 leaders, “The online de- vices your employees are using right now…are the least important fac- tor for your organizational and competitive mobile workforce success. Sooner or later everyone can get the same devices you are using. More valuable will be the applications you are using. Most critical will be whether or not you have created a work environment that attracts, mo- tivates, trains, enables and retains the talent you need to stay ahead of the competition and meet your goals.” [33] I couldn’t agree more.